The state of Pennsylvania has had a bid for a new mini-casino invalidated by state gaming regulators. It comes after Pennsylvania regulations state that casinos cannot be built within 25 miles of one another. The ban comes as a setback for the state’s gambling industry.
A row over the location of a new proposed mini-casino in Pennsylvania has seen a winning bid invalidated by state gaming regulators. The bid by global casino developer Las Vegas Sands Corporation, included the plan to build a fourth gaming venue in the state.
The winning bid of $9.9m by LVS would have seen the new mini-casino located on a site in Hempfield Township, close to Mercer County. However, a third mini-casino which is yet to be built, is said to located in neighbouring Lawrence County, an area very close to Mercer County.
According to Pennsylvania regulations, under Act 42, category 4, casinos can only be situated in “a specific geographic point established by geographic coordinates in this Commonwealth with a 15-linear mile radius.” The regulations also state that “a Category 4 facility may not be located within 25 miles of another licensed PA casino (Category 1, 2 or 3) except if the location is within 25 miles of the winning bidder’s own licensed facility.”
Addressing these regulations in a statement, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board said it had been forced to reject the bid which was submitted by Sands Bethworks Gaming LLC, a subsidiary of LVS. State regulators are to meet this month to decide as to whether or not they will accept the second unsuccessful bid, which was submitted by Parx Casino.
Pennsylvania is currently almost half way through a process of auctioning 10 licences to build mini-casinos, with the auction only open to the state’s 11 casino operators. Each operator can submit bids to open a facility which comprises of 750 slot machines, while licence holders have the option to pay a further $2.5m if they’d like to operate 30 table games on their premises. The first three auctions have raised $112m for the state, with a $50m bid being made by Mountainview Thoroughbred Racing Association LLC to build a mini-casino in York County. Stadium Casino LLC have bided $40m to build a casino in Westmoreland County and Mount Airy bided $21m for premises in Lawrence County.
As yet, following the state’s decision to invalidate their bid, Las Vegas Sands Corporation have not made a statement regarding the matter.